Abstract

This thesis examines the new-adult romance work Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James and the novel's readership to identify the evolution of the romance genre and the ways in which the genre is used as a tool for empowerment. As the genre evolves, subgenres develop with the new "empowering" characteristics. As new technologies present themselves to readers, readers have more opportunities to participate with one another and affect the genre's evolution. I assert that Fifty Shades of Grey and the romance community are limited by the patriarchal values traditionally portrayed by the genre; however, the nature of the "empowering" characteristics of Fifty Shades of Grey, bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism (BDSM), and the growing interconnectedness of the romance reading community suggest a growing awareness of this pervasive patriarchal influence.

Advisor

Kristi J. Cole

First Committee Member

Jacqueline Arnold

Date of Degree

2014

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

College

Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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